If you don’t know your customers and they don’t know you, marketing is an uphill battle.

The insurance industry these days is highly competitive, which is stating the obvious. Things are changing in the health care landscape and 2014 is just around the corner, to follow a year of other changes in the marketplace this year. Marketing can be a nightmare if you don’t break it down and go about it the right way —- or rather, the way that will pull in more customers for your agency. To make a decent go of it, you need to work with insurance leads; leads that are only sent to you, and no one else.

What is the one thing that most people value the most when looking to buy something these days? If you said customer service, then you are on the right track. If you said something else, you may still be on the right track, but just need to tweak your marketing strategy a bit to address your marketing relationships. And that is precisely how insurance leads need to be worked, as if you were in a relationship with each and every customer.

It is all about putting the custom back into the word customer. Gone are the days when it seemed to matter to a business that they kept their loyal customers. Companies chased new customers, ignoring the old ones – their very foundation. It costs lots of money to re-invent the wheel. So focus on the basics of good customer service for your existing clients, add new ones, and be sure to keep them happy as well. This is your pay off – happy and loyal customers, garnered from the insurance leads you diligently worked, in a smart way.

Customer retention is beginning to come back into vogue and you would be well served working each insurance lead as if they were already a customer. Establish a cordial relationship with them. Provide potential customers with the information they need, the services they want at a reasonable price. Top that all off with treating them with respect and courtesy and taking care of their claims in a diligent manner and you retain that customer year after year.

The other key to get and keep customers is to practice lifecycle marketing, which, in a nutshell, is offering a range of products and services to your customers as they need them. Anticipating their needs looks good on you and is good for your business. These are core relationship customers, not just individual transactions. In other words, a continuous source of income. When your customers know who you are and what you do and how you do it, the business relationship is a win-win on both sides. Think about it.

Clelland Green is with Benepath.net, a leader in providing health insurance leads. Benepath provides agents with exclusive health insurance leads and Medicare leads in just a few mouse clicks. To learn more, visit http://www.benepath.net.